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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

Preface                        ix

short and unrepresentative selection which Mr. Fifield would
have refused to publish. I have tried to make such a book as I
believe'would have pleased Butler. That is to say, I have tried
to please one who, by reason of his intimate knowledge of the
subject and of the difficulties, would have looked with indulgence
upon the many mistakes which it is now too late to correct,
even if I knew how to correct them.. Had it been possible for him
10 see what I have done, he would have detected all my sins, both
of omission and of commission, and I like to imagine that he
would have used some such consoling words as these: tc Well,
never mind ; one cannot have everything ; and, after all, { Le
mieux est Vennemi du bienJ iy

Here will be found much of what he used to say as he talked
with one or two intimate friends in his own chambers or in
mine at the close of the day, or on a Sunday walk in the country
round London, or as we wandered together through Italy and
Sicily ; and I would it were possible to charge these pages with
some echo of his voice and with some reflection of his manner.
But, again,' one cannot have everything.

{t Man's work we have," quoth one, " but we ward themó
Them palpable to touch and clear to view."
Is it so nothing, then, to have the gem
But we, must cry to have the setting too ?

In the New Quarterly each note was headed with a reference
to its 'place in the Note-Books. This has not been done here
because, on consideration, it seemed useless, and even irritating,
to keep on putting before the reader references which he could not
verify. I intend to 'give to the British Museum a copy of this
volume wherein each note will show where the material of which
it is composed can be found; thus, if the original Note-Books
are also some day given to the Museum, any one sufficiently
interested will be able to see exactly what I have done in selecting,
omitting, editing, condensing and classifying.

Some items are included that are not actually in the Note-
Books ; the longest of these are the two New Zealand articles
" Darwin among the Machines " and tc Lucubratio Ebria "
as to which something is said in the Prefatory Note to " The
Germs of Erewhon and of Life and Habit" (pp. 39-42 post).
In that Prefatory Note a Dialogue on Species by Butler and, an
autograph letter from Charles Darwin are mentioned. Since the
note was in type I have received from New Zealand a copy of